December 18th, 2007
10:20 AM ET
10 years ago

Bill Clinton: George H.W. Bush will help President Hillary

Bill Clinton said former president George H.W. Bush will help fix damage done to America's reputation by his son, George W. Bush.

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the first thing his wife Hillary will do when she reaches the White House is dispatch him and his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, on an around-the-world mission to repair the damage done to America's reputation by the current president - Bush's son, George W. Bush.

"Well, the first thing she intends to do, because you can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again," Clinton said in response to a question from a supporter about what his wife's "number one priority" would be as president.

A spokesman for the George H. W. Bush said Tuesday afternoon the former president supports his son's foreign policy and has "never discussed an ‘around-the-world-mission’ with either former President Bill Clinton or Sen. Clinton." (Click here for the full statement)

Clinton and the elder Bush, rivals in the 1992 presidential election, have grown chummy in recent years, often traveling and appearing at public events together. In 2005, they started a charity to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

UPDATE: The Republican National Committee issued this statement in response to Clinton's comments:

"In 2009, a Republican president will be working with our friends and allies abroad to continue to keep our nation safe," said RNC spokesman Danny Diaz. "The American people expect our leaders - both current and former - to present serious solutions to the very real challenges confronting our nation."

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (836 Responses)
  1. Joseph, Boston, mA

    First of all Hillary will not even be the nominee she does not have a chance. Yea, Bill cleaning up the image of the country. I just wish the Clinton's would both just go away.

    December 18, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. Sam Bakersfield CA

    How about we send them on a one way trip to Mars. This country and world has seen enough of the Clintons, Bush's, and Carters. Time for a change, time for a revolution! RON PAUL 2008!

    December 18, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Leo, Mesa Arizona

    Ok, I have come across some fairly recent information that may be helpful or perhaps just interesting to some. Go to and highlight POLITICS down and to the left. Then click on topic – 'The woman behind the candidate'. You will see actual interviews of Hillary. There is more than one video. They discuss the current situation and how 'desperate' they are because Obama has so suddenly gone on a roll. At one point Hillary is asked a direct question and she refuses to answer. Next she becomes upset with the interviewer for pressing the issue. The Clintons are attacking Obama because they are frightened. Bill Clinton admits that Obama is a man of enourmous talent. Watch with an unbiased eye and judge for yourself. I realize this is nothing new to many of you, but I found it interesting the way this information was put together. Thank you.

    December 18, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Chuck, Springdale AR

    When Huckabee is elected he will distance himself from all the old guard politicians, a welcome move.

    December 18, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. John, Huntington Beach CA

    There seems to be this prevailing attitude that confronting terrorism is more important than our reputation as a nation .. I for one, as an American, value the honor of my nation far beyond that of my safety, esp when confronted with the minuscule threat of terrorism when compared with much more mundane things like heart disease, car accidents, etc. But more importantly, a nation that gets 51% of its engineers from abroad really needs to be concerned with its image, otherwise its S.O.L.

    December 18, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Psycho, Mars Hill, ME

    Perhaps Bush 41 can show Bill the finer points of puking on the shoes of fellow world leaders.

    December 18, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. hillary-is-EVIL, Gallatin TN

    Why are we to assume that our nation's world-wide reputation needs fixing? Our president has successfully, in my opinion, portrayed our nation as a country that will not be swayed from our belief that we are in the right to protect ourselves from our enemies wherever they may be. If other countries do not like this, they may either be part of the problem or contributors to the problem. Another story by cnn aimed at proliferating their agenda to have another clinton in the white house at the expense of our sitting President's integrity.

    December 18, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. James, Houston, TX.

    Bill and G.H. Bush Traveling Envoys for Hillary? May as well drag in Neil Bush to carry the Bags. Yes, G.W. has Screwed it Up Badly; But, there's still Rupert, whats in his "Card of Tricks"?

    December 18, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Linda, Elkridge, MD

    Who is running for President, Bill or Hillary? The world does not need anymore Clinton's in power. Sounds to me like Bill thinks the dad will stand with him against his own son, that is probably what Bill would do to Chelsea but I find it hard to believe Dad would do that to his own son. I think Dad has love and respect for his son and would not sell him down the river like some people would do to their children. Does Bill talk for the Bush family, he seems to overstep his bounds even as a personal citizen.

    December 18, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Merele

    even more reason not to vote for her!

    December 18, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. john thomas, beverly hills, ca

    I think Bill's brain is going – perhaps he has syphillis? or perhaps his failing heart is shedding thrombi to his brain – that has to be the stupidist comment I have ever heard – he might as well tell Hillary to quit now – save the money for her next Senate run... maybe go back to Arkansas... now, everyone will say anyone BUT Hillary, Bill and Bush, SR.

    December 18, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Kent, Michigan

    Hey Gus T, from Miami.. kicking terrorist butt? Hmm, by demoralizing our military, getting into a meat grinder in Iraq, and creating a new department that can't find it's own hands, he sure has done a "stand up" job of keeping us safe!

    Strong economy.. ever been to Michigan or any other rust belt states lately? I think people there might have a thing or two to say about the 8-10% unemployment rates. Lowering taxes.. unless you make $400,000 a year, your taxes were never lowered. Capital gains taxes on the average person came out to nothing more than about $120 on average.. while CEO's of places like Chase bank, etc, got a $20 million tax cut! Yea, GREAT JOB he's done!

    Fiscal responsibility? the dollar is the lowest it's been since the 80's.. great job.. oh,. and more free trade signed. .good for major companies HQ, bad for the workers who lose their jobs.

    December 18, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Dan, NY

    Check out the ton of new state polls released this morning by different institutes, and they mostly have good news for Dems: There's one from Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa and Dems are even competitive in NC! Full roundup here.

    December 18, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. lee fort myers florida

    CLINTONS – PLEASE GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 18, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. Ken, Tampa

    Reading these comments, it's apparent that many on the right need professional help for their fear of terrorists.

    It's also apparent that too many of them can't remember short term history. The Clinton Administration warned Dubya that Al Queda would be their biggest concern. Bush was give a PDB warning that Bin Laden was determined to strike the US.

    What the scared right wing can't see is the carass and naked profiteering adventure that is Iraq. If these scared wingnuts were really concerned about national security, they would see that we are spending our blood and treasure to make Bush and his cronies rich.

    December 18, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. M Guzzi

    How many people out there are SICK of both these familys? I can't stand them anymore!!!! You can put Ish Kabibble in as President but no more Clintons or Bushes !!!!

    December 18, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  17. Tim, Seattle

    Meanwhile....back on topic....
    I think the underlying theme here is that the W administration through its preemptive war policies, mishandling of the war, bogus and botched intellegence claims, inabaility to handle domestic emergencies (Katrina) and laughable objection to science and environmental concerns has ruined our credibility in the world.
    Are allies are shrinking year by year and we are a joke to the rest of the world.
    Doesn't matter to me which repair guys you send out, the point is there is a lot of repair to do from damage caused this president's (or Cheney's)policies.
    I dont see athing wrong with a GOP Moderate (Bush Sr) and a Dem Centrist (Clinton)teaming up.

    Some of your comments about Bush-Clinton conspiracies are most amusing though. Are you really upset at the prospect of Bill and George Sr working together, albeit hypothetical?
    Were not George Sr and Bill working together to help clean-up another one of W's botched responses; KAtrina?. Wow, bipartisanship sucks, huh?

    December 18, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. San Antonio

    Ok, let me get this right. Bushes help Clintons return to power so they can still have influence, access and you guessed it, power. I'm confused. Two guys that layed the groundwork and set a foreign policy plan in place that alienated us from the world, now want's to go out and say "we're open for business". We does the image of vacuum cleaner salemen come to mind.

    December 18, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Ratdog, Plano, TX

    Weapons Grade Bull-onium

    December 18, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. JB, Nashville, Tennessee

    Bill Clinton–what a fool!

    December 18, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. Lowell, Atlanta, GA

    Michigan and Detroit are the products of Democrat state and city administrations for years – not the Federal Gov't.

    December 18, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. Jenn, Evergreen, CO

    I don't mean to be dense but is that supposed to be comforting in some way? I find it nothing short of terrifying. So much for change. If Hilary is elected it will be more of the same and this country can't afford more of the same.

    Obama in 08!

    December 18, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. Ken, Tampa

    the USS Cole bombing, the first WTC attack, Khobar towers among 6-8 total attacks that Bill ignored while he was "busy" doing other things.


    The '93 WTC preps are in jail.

    USS Cole bombing – October 12, 2000. The Navy's investigattion wasn't done until Jan 19, 2001. It was GW Bush who ultimately took NO action against Bin Laden for this.

    This is how your typical wingnut lies. They give a half trust and then build an alternate reality around it.

    December 18, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  24. Kevin, Chicago IL

    More Clinton lies... man, I want to like this guy but enough is enough. Is there anything he wont do? This campaign is like a big, clumsy Karl Rove production gone bad. Truth is, before moving to the US Senate, Obama spent 8 years implementing and honing policy (e.g. ethics reforms, etc.) in the IL State Senate. He has also worked closely with Dick Lugar and Russ Feingold in the US Senate on wide-ranging issues from fuel standards to weapons stockpiling/shipment regulations. That makes 11 years in elected office. For comparison, Clinton has 7 years in elected office. The relevance of time in elected is debatable; the facts aren’t. Unfortunately, facts don't matter if they get in the way of a Clinton and power.

    December 18, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    Why are we to assume that our nation's world-wide reputation needs fixing?

    Get real. Bush can't go to any nation, no matter how close an ally, without being greeted by huge crowds of protesters. Look at how few of the nations that joined us for Bush's War in Iraq are still there. Support for Bush has apparently cost the jobs for the heads of Great Britain and Australia. When Clinton travels, he gets huge crowds of admirers. All the polls show Bush is widely disliked throughout the world.

    "If other countries do not like this, they may either be part of the problem or contributors to the problem" is typical of the Bush mentality that the rest of the world must be wrong and he is always right. Time for a reality check.

    December 18, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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